Releases are archery tools used to help archers hold back on their bowstring long enough to release their arrows. Whether you shoot a compound, recurve or longbow, there are many release aids that you can use to help you shoot with greater accuracy and consistency.
Benefits of Using a Release Aid
No matter what you are doing with your bow, the decision to release an arrow using your fingers or using a release should be chosen based on personal preference. However, there are a number of other benefits that releases have to offer.
- Releases help archers hold back on their bowstring long enough to release their arrows without having to exert too much force and getting tired.
- When shooting a compound bow, they typically give faster arrow speeds because archers can pull the string back farther than they would be able to by hand.
- Using a release also allows archers to shoot more quietly, this helps them get a better successful shot when hunting.
Archery Release Types
There are many different types of archery releases available that can be better for target archers and for bowhunters.
Release styles such as thumb trigger releases and string loop releases are popular amongst archers who shoot archery target competitions. These tend to be more compact and complex, but their design makes it easier to quickly hit targets without having to use a traditional archery finger tab.
Hinge releases are hand held and they feature a pivoting head that connects with one end of the string or D-loop on an open hook.
To release the arrow, archers rotate their index finger from a central point to the opposing ring finger. The principle is to draw the bow mostly with your thumb and index finger, and then transfer the weight to your middle and ring finger until the shot breaks.
Some hinge releases can be set to click, which provides a consistent starting point for the shot-execution process. Some archers find this helpful because it gives them timing cues as they practice their form or aim
Archers who shoot for bowhunting prefer releases that offer very flexible trigger systems so they can easily hold back on their bowstring while waiting for that perfect moment. Typically, bowhunters like to use index finger releases since they stay connected to their bow and are still easily accessible when it's time to shoot.
Index Finger Releases
Index finger releases are commonly used by archers who shoot archery hunting for big game because they give the most similar feel to pulling a trigger on a rifle. They also usually have a strap attached to their wrist so they can easily be grabbed while holding a bow.
No matter what style of release you are shooting their goal is all to help give you as much trigger control and precision as possible!